I don't often do this. Hand out advice to people who aren't my clients when they email me with questions about what to do in their homes.
Because, after all... I do sell this as a paid-service. It’s how I make my living.
And even though I love hearing from people who want to talk about design, I'm unable to answer most times because it takes more time than you think to mull over the details of a question, look at all the images they send, and then send a comprehensive response that advises them on what they should do. People pay me for that kind of advice; so, naturally, it’s difficult to do it for free.
However… sometimes, if a question comes my way that I can answer quickly, and I have a hunch that all of you, my readers, will benefit from a blog post I create out of my response, I’ll go ahead and answer. (Btw: Never do I reveal the person’s identity, that is unless they give me permission to.)
Recently, a DESIGNED follower emailed me after enjoying a post about decorating above the cabinets. Here was her dilemma:
“I hope you don't mind me emailing you, but…
I saw a blog of yours about designing the space above cabinets, and I could really use your help! I have vaulted ceilings on one side of my kitchen cabinets, and I have NO idea what to do. The space is also shared with my living room and dining room. I’ve attached some pictures so you can see. I would LOVE IT if you could tell me what you think!”
Here was my response:
Pretty home, [name redacted]! You've done a nice job. ;-)
I suggest you hang some art objects up there. It's too high to stack stuff on top of the cabinets. Maybe some natural baskets in a collage would work; it wouldn't be very costly, and it would make a big impact.
Also, because you've got a little bit of a shabby chic look going on, maybe something whitewashed would look nice up there. You know, whitewashed items like: wood objects; architectural details, items like that, when grouped in a collage, would work.
Here’s some inspiration to get you started:
I also took a quick second to sketch out a visual for her...
“I think it's good that you have white curtain panels; they extend the look of the white kitchen cabinets across the wall, leaving that triangular area available, specifically, for a wall-space to fill with something.
Also, if you can, raise your drapery rod by about a foot; you can add a contrasting section at the hem. Personally, I can’t help but feel like they are a little too all-in-a-row (if you know what I mean) and could use some variation in height. You don't have to go too high here, because you're leaving that space above for your art wall.
Good luck, [name redacted]! Send me a pic of what it looks like when you’re finished!”
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I really hope she sends me a pic of her end result.
I’d love to see what everything looks like. ;-)